Antoine Fortuin

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Bitten by a common house spider, Antoine emerged with the uncanny ability to buy more games than he had time to play. While living in the hills of Tennessee, USA, he tries to balance software development, family, and his multiple, competing hobbies. He hopes to someday discover a pocket dimension in which to store his games.

Tramways is an innovative pickup-and-deliver game mixed with route building and is designed by Alban Viard (known for Card City XL). Art is by Todd Sanders (known for Pulp Detective), and Sampo Sikiö (known for Eclipse). Players lead a team of engineers to build the most efficient rail network in Small City. Games last about 30 minutes per player and caters for 2-5 players.

The Tramways: Dystopian Expansions release moves the setting from Small City to Mars and the Moon. Each planet is its own expansion. The “Moon” expansion adds a wraparound board construction mechanism and adds a night and day cycle which affect the actions that can be performed. In the “Mars” expansion, Martians are a new type of passenger to be transported who are trickier to move around than the average passenger.

Contrary to the name of the expansion, the aim of the game is to finish with the most Happiness points. These are earned by moving passengers, building new railways, and constructing new buildings. The more efficient players become the greater the stress level increases which is tracked in the game and negatively impacts the Happiness points.

The Tramways: Dystopian Expansions Kickstarter project has already raised 3x its required funding with over 400 backers. Project funding is set to end on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019, with expected delivery taking place in October of 2019.

Star Wars: Legion is a miniatures based war game, published by Fantasy Flight Games, where 2 players battle as the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War. The new core set takes place during the earlier period of the conflict where the Separatist Alliance, composed mostly of armies of droids, seeks to wipe out the Galactic Republic, made up largely of elite, cloned troopers who are led by the noble order of Jedi Knights. The Clone Wars Core Set is not a new version of the game and you don’t need the original Star Wars: Legion Core Set to play the game, but all the products are fully compatible with one another.

For the Separatists, The Clone Wars Core Set comes with 18 B1 Battle Droids, which is enough for 2 corps units. There are also 4 Droideka in both standard and wheel forms. General Grievous is included as the commander of the droid units. The Galactic Republic is represented by 14 Phase 1 Clone Troopers, enough for 2 corps units, and a BARC Speeder, which can be assembled with, or without, its sidecar. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi takes command of the Clone Troopers. The new Core Set also comes with various dice, upgrade cards, battle cards, command cards, barricades, movement tools, a four-part range ruler, and various tokens.

Star Wars: Legion is designed by Alex Davy with art by Henning Ludvigsen. Expect The Clones Wars Core Set to be released in Q3 of 2019.

Folklore: The Affliction is a dark fantasy cooperative adventure which was originally released in 2017 and has since gained a cult following. It’s an RPG board game for 1-5 players which features an immersive storyline and game play mechanisms very similar to traditional role playing games. The second expansion, Folklore: The Affliction – Fall of the Spire, is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. It’s published by Greenbrier Games, designed by Nick Blain, and Will Donovan with art by Jason Engle, and Henning Ludvigsen.

“You have traveled the dangerous byways of Kremel, and finally walk past the gates of the town at twilight. Once eager to see so many people bustling in the streets, you have grown jaded and keep an eye out for pickpockets. Beneath the buildings, stone and wood edifices, you notice the layers of dust and grime, and a deepening of the shadows. A shopkeeper waves in recognition as you walk through the town, and looks to you in hopes of news from the outside world. But you have a darker destination in mind, and no time to spare. You nod back, and take to the rooftops, and later descend to the sewers, where you hope to find the missing piece that will take you to the one place that will doom or save this land…the Dark Spire.” [source]

The expansion adds 6 new characters to choose from including the Magi, the Druidess, the Warlord, the Viper Maiden, the Gentleman, and the Huntress. Six new stories have been added which are set in the land of Kremel. The Afflictions, puppet masters of evil befalling the region, are set against the players as they try to take over the land. These include the Master Efreet, Djinn, Naga, and Satyr. Advanced combat, Road Events and Off Road Events, as well as maps of Kremel filled with unearthly monsters are all included in the expansion.

Standees are included in the base Kickstarter pledge but miniatures are added at higher pledge levels. A Create Crate is also available as a Kickstarter Bonus which allows players to store all the miniatures produced for the game thus far. The Folklore: The Affliction – Fall of the Spire campaign has already reached 10x its funding goal with over 2500 backers. Funding will end on Thursday, April 18th, 2019 with project delivery expected in December of 2020.

Fort Sumter is a 2-player, card driven game which portrays the 1860 Secession Crisis that led to the attack on Fort Sumter and the American Civil War. A Unionist player competes against a Secessionist player over 3 rounds, then culminates in a Final Crisis in the confrontation where a winner is determined. In partnership with GMT Games, Playdeck Games will release a digital version to the Android, iOS, and Steam platforms.

“This partnership is an exciting time for us, and we cannot wait to bring the Fort Sumter design from the legendary Mark Herman to the digital space. From We the People to Empire of the Sun, both Playdek and GMT Games have been fans of Herman’s revolutionary game mechanics and gripping gameplay. With Fort Sumter coming to the Mobile and PC platforms, we know you will be fans too!”

For more information on the release of Fort Sumter, and their planned GMT Games library, visit the Playdek Games website.

Plunderbund is a Back-Alley-Business board game where players lead guilds trying to smuggle and sell illegal goods in the High Fantasy city of The Sprawl. HutChu Games’ designers, Adam Chunn, and Woody Hutsell, have teamed up with artists Joe Shawcross (known for Warband: Against the Darkness), and Stevo Torres (known for Cold Water Crown: The Sea). The game supports 2-5 players, aged 12+, and plays in 90-180 mins, depending on player count.

Players are crime bosses who recruit a mob of agents (responsible for creating demand), racketeers (who extort payment), and others to build up their reputation selling illegal goods. Agents act by taking favors which they expect repaid in the future. To prevent their rivals from getting ahead, players sow chaos so that their rivals’ network of agents are less effective. Winners and losers are determined by a supply/demand mechanism represented by four regions on the board. At the end of the game, the agents expect payment and negatively impact the total score if not paid.

The game features fantastic artwork and comes with wooden, plastic, or clay Meeples depending on the pledge level selected. The Plunderbund Kickstarter project has over 250 backers and is at over 85% of its funding goal. The funding deadline is Saturday, April 20th, 2019, and the project has an estimated delivery date of February (for the wooden Meeple version) and March 2020 (for the plastic or clay Meeple versions).

For more information, see The Dice Tower’s preview of the game.

“Russia: 1787. Empress Catherine the Great is taking a surprise  trip down the Dnieper River to survey her new kingdom. This will take  her directly past your old, unremarkable village. You don’t have the  time or money to make your village impressive, but with a few pieces of timber and some strategically placed facades you could certainly make  your village seem impressive.” [source]

In Potemkin Empire, 3-5 players try to impress Empress Catherine the Great by convincing her that their village is the most prosperous in the land. Players draft and assign interior cards to their buildings then decide which to make real or fake. Each building added has a unique ability and will earn points whether their interiors are real or not. However, players need to watch out for spies who can expose the fake buildings. Potemkin Empire is designed by Jonathan Woodard, with art by Constan Lerois, is aimed at players aged 14+, and plays in around 45 mins.

Potemkin Empire, by Indie Boards & Cards, is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. It’s currently at 25% of the funding goal with over 120 backers. The funding deadline is Thursday, April 11th, 2019 and the estimated project delivery is September of 2019.

Stronghold Games have announced a new game designed by Uwe Rosenberg (known for Agricola) called Second Chance. Players fill in a garden, represented by a 9×9 grid on a sheet of paper, based on the shaped flower tiles which players draw as a group. While players initially start with a unique tile, the rest of the game has players drawing two tiles then filling in one of the commonly drawn tiles on their sheets. If players cannot fit the tile on their sheet, they’re eliminated from play. The last person standing is the winner. Second Chance supports 1-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in 10-15 mins. Art for the game is by Max Prentis (also known for Boldest).

In Subtext, players try to communicate with one another by drawing hints about the word on their card. At the start of the round, the dealer looks at the word on their card, adds it to the cards to be dealt to players, shuffles, then hands out the cards. The dealer then draws the picture matching the word and tries to get their “partner” to guess the word from the picture without the other players getting it right. Points for the dealer and partner are scored only if they’re the only ones to guess the word and recognize each other as a team. Other players score points for incorrect guesses. It’s designed by Wolfgang Warsch (known for The Mind, and The Quacks of Quedlinburg), with art by Studio Muti. Subtext is for 4-8 players, aged 10+, and plays in 20-40 mins.

Terraforming Mars: Turmoil will also be released from Stronghold Games but will be done as a Kickstarter project. Read Corey’s recent report from GAMA for more information.

Draftosaurus is a family game with a simple setup where players draft dinosaurs to create their own zoo. Publisher Ankama originally debuted Draftosaurus at the International Games Festival in Cannes. It’s designed by the Kaedama team (Antoine BauzaCorentin LebratLudovic Maublanc, and Théo Rivière), with art by Jiahui Eva Gao, and Vipin Alex Jacob.

In Draftosaurus, players fill up various pens in their zoo represented by a player board. Each pen has specific conditions in order to be classified as “filled”. Players start with six dinosaur meeples in hand, then play one of those to a pen before passing the remaining meeples to their neighbor for drafting. There’s also a die which imposes random requirements on everyone.

Draftosaurus is currently available in retail stores.

Daily Magic Games are running a Kickstarter to expand Valeria: Card Kingdoms, and add a completely standalone dice game. Valeria: Card Kingdoms is designed by Isaias Vallejo, with art by Mihajlo Dimitrievski (a.k.a. The Mico), and is a tableau-building building game for 1-5 players. Players compete to earn the most Victory Points by recruiting citizens, buying domains to expand the kingdom, and vanquishing monsters who lay siege to the land.

Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Crimsons Seas is a full expansion for the base game and adds maps to far-off lands beyond the borders of Valeria which allow players to import goods to increase victory points. There are also options to purchase Tomes of great power to augment resource production, or rescue captured Nobles, or plunder wealth from a cursed isle. Sea monsters impede travels and sow chaos across Valeria. The expansion adds new icons, tokens, card types, and mechanisms, in addition to adding new cards for all existing card types with a nautical theme.

Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Ward Towers is an expansion pack for the base game and lets players contribute towards building a Ward Tower which, when added to a row of monsters, reduces their cost to be slayed.

Corsairs of Valeria is a new, standalone dice game where 2-5 players are Corsairs who have set out to win a challenge to become the new Commodore. Players will sail the Valerian Isles to gather enough treasure to fill six treasure chests in order to meet the challenge. Players roll dice to determine available actions which allow them to earn silver, re-roll their dice, fire cannons to attack opponents or merchant ships, or move their ships forward. Curses can also be rolled which removes silver coins because they’re lost to Skull Island.

The Kickstarter project for Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Crimson Seas is close to ending on Tuesday, March 26th, 2019, with around 1700 backers allowing it to reach 3x its funding. Estimated project delivery is November of 2019.

USAopoly, in partnership with FOX Consumer Products, have announced their planned release of Die Hard: The Nakatomi Heist Board Game. The Die Hard movie, which originally debuted in 1988, has never had a licensed board game so this would be the first for the franchise. It will feature asymmetric gameplay where one player is John McClane who needs to rescue the hostages from the thieves, played by the rest of the players, in the Nakatomi Plaza high-rise (which was featured in the original movie).

“Die Hard’s influence over the action-thriller genre is staggering, so we were beyond excited for the opportunity to harness the movie’s expert blend of action, intelligence and drama into a unique tabletop experience. We are developing a game that will deeply resonate with Die Hard enthusiasts, incorporating even the slightest details to create a rich and entertaining experience that properly pays tribute to arguably the greatest action movie of all time.” – Pat Marino, Lead Game Designer, USAopoly [source]

“The Die Hard board game from USAopoly provides an engaging touch point for fans seeking a nostalgic trip back to Nakatomi Tower and, three decades after the film’s release, allows a new generation of fans to play a unique game experience showcasing this incredible property.” – Federico San Martin, Vice President of Global Toys and Hardlines, 20th Century Fox Consumer Products [source]

Die Hard: The Nakatomi Heist Board Game will be available in the Spring of 2019 in select retailers. Check the USAOpoly website for more information. Now fans can debate whether this can be classified as a Christmas game!